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Line forms at Gateway Mall as COVID-19 vaccine as eligibility age drops to 40+

State extends federally-supported site to remain open through May 26

Monday was the first day people 40 and older were allowed to get the vaccine -- that opens up vaccinations open to about 2.5 million more people in the Sunshine State, according to the latest census count.
Monday was the first day people 40 and older were allowed to get the vaccine -- that opens up vaccinations open to about 2.5 million more people in the Sunshine State, according to the latest census count.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – About 30 people were in line outside the Gateway Mall vaccination site before open at 7 a.m. Monday.

Monday was the first day people 40 and older were allowed to get the vaccine -- that opens up vaccinations open to about 2.5 million more people in the Sunshine State, according to the latest census count.

“I work retail, so I’ve been in it the whole time,” said Rich Guettler, who was among those in line at Gateway. “Never had a problem with it, but better to be safe than sorry.”

Guettler is over 50 but is glad to see more people able to get the shot, especially with guidelines scheduled to fall again to include all Florida residents 18 and up starting next Monday -- including his daughter.

“I’ll let her (make) the decision. She’s 22 years old. We’ll have a talk about,” Guettler said.

WHEN? WHERE? HOW? Getting vaccinated in Northeast Florida

The Gateway Mall site and its two satellite sites are offering the Pfizer vaccine. Gateway Center had been allocated 2,000 doses per day, but the Florida Department of Emergency Management and the Department of Health increased that to 3,000 per day and directed them to remain open an additional four weeks -- through May 26.

A spokesperson says a shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could arrive April 14.

As of Monday morning, 5.6 million doses of the three coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Florida, according to health statistics provided by the Florida Department of Health. State records show 2.5 million people have received the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-shot dose of Johnson & Johnson and 3.1 million people have completed the vaccine series.

As of Sunday, the state of Florida reported that 2,044,005 coronavirus cases and 33,819 deaths.

There are a lot of places now offering vaccinations. Find the site nearest you by visiting vaccinefinder.org or use this list News4Jax compiled.

Today marks the first day that people over 40 in Florida can get a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. Live this morning with Ashley Harding to give us a look at the lines at the Gateway Mall vaccination site.
Today marks the first day that people over 40 in Florida can get a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. Live this morning with Ashley Harding to give us a look at the lines at the Gateway Mall vaccination site.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.

Kelly Wiley, an award-winning investigative reporter, joined the News4Jax I-Team in June 2019.